Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Growing Niche of City Development

Article Last Updated: Saturday, Aug 13, 2005 - 10:27:51 pm PDT

The Growing Niche of City Development
By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas

As we've described in previous columns, the residential development market in Fairfield remains strong, with master planning underway for projects like The Villages at Fairfield off Claybank Road as well as the Garaventa project behind Fairfield Corporate Commons (Suisun Valley Road).

One interesting trend, however, is the growing interest of builders interested in niche/infill development. Probably the most visible example of this is the recently completed Providence Walk project at the intersection of East Travis Blvd. and North Texas Street. As the Fairfield market matures, we will be seeing more infill development and redevelopment.

Let's look at some of the newer projects coming under review:

- River Oaks: River Oaks will be located on a narrow sliver of land located near Pittman and Link Roads (near Denny's). The 28 homes will be arranged along a private road ending in a cul-de-sac. The homes will range from 1,998-2,306 square feet in size, and feature front-facing garages, tile roofs and traditional stucco or wood siding with ledgestone accents.

- East Tabor at Dover: The owners of this vacant infill 2-acre site (between an existing small office building and a church) have submitted for conceptual review a proposal for 12 for-sale duet units and one 4-unit rental apartment building.

- Tabor Avenue Infill Housing: Between Tabor Avenue and North Texas Street are several long, narrow vacant parcels. These parcels have divided zoning, with the rear, Tabor Avenue side being zoned for high-density residential uses and the front, North Texas Street side developed with commercial uses. Several of these rear parcels remain vacant. With the increased demand for infill housing, the City is now seeing interest in infill development at this location. The City is completing one conceptual review for 23 townhouses on a 1.5-acre site behind the former Arc Tec, Welding building (now the remodeled home of Mission Solano's Thrift Shop). Next door (behind Fairfield Collision Center), another local developer is working with the City to develop a proposal for single family homes on a one-acre site. These projects would complement other townhouse and higher density single-family developments in the vicinity as well as developing lots that tend to attract debris and trash.

- Madison: Located at Peabody Road and Joseph Gerevas Drive, Madison is not an "infill" site, but does provide a new market segment for the area, with nine acres of townhouses and nine acres of single-family homes. About 220 units are proposed. A central "green" provides a common open space focus for both neighborhoods.

- East Tabor at Sunset: Tim Lewis Communities (TLC) has submitted a development review application for a 96-unit townhouse development that will include common open space and private garages. The townhouse units will be offered for sale.

- Providence Walk II: Located across East Travis Boulevard from the recently completed Phase I of Providence Walk, Phase II will include 21 single-family homes, and a common open space area. This project will include units affordable to moderate income households.

- DMV Property: Last year, a proposal for 12 apartments was approved for this three-acre site at the corner of Pacific and Tabor Avenues that currently houses the Department of Motor Vehicles. A new development team has now submitted a concept for loft-type townhouses at this site.

As interest in the 80-to-80 Corridor continues to grow, we can expect further infill and redevelopment projects. As we've discussed in previous columns, the City is eager to work with developers interested in building innovative projects in central Fairfield.

Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or e-mail at or

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